A couple years ago -- a day after a big wedding - my husband woke up bright and early at 8am.
And after finding out that we were heading to a day-after-the-wedding brunch, he yelled out:
"God, I love people!"
You'd never hear me yell out these words.
I mean, don't get me wrong, I love people. It's just that I wouldn't come at it with such gusto and enthusiasm, especially pre-coffee.
I'm married to someone who is an extrovert. Or as I sometimes call him -- he's approved this message -- an extreme extrovert.
I'm more of an introvert. I need alone time before embarking on group activities.
And then once I'm at a party, I'll have a blast.
But, I'm ready to recharge by myself the next day before I go back out into the world again.
I'm happy to report that we no longer look at each other like we're crazy.
But, it took some time to understand where the other person was coming from.
So how do you balance the differing needs for alone time and "people time" in relationships?
And not just romantic relationships but with family and friends, too?
I've found these 3 tips super helpful while navigating the waters of introverts and extroverts in relationships:
// Ask Questions
Studies show that when we approach others with curiosity instead of judgment, it lowers our cortisol levels.
Result? Less stress and rolling your eyes.
So the next time you're annoyed about someone adding plans or canceling plans, ask some questions.
What's your perfect ratio of people vs. alone time? Three nights in? Four nights out?
What's your ideal dinner party number? 5 people? 25? 50?
What do you feel in your body when you know it's time to either cancel or add plans? Tired? Shut down? Ready for a 12-hour Netflix binge?
You can't be in curiosity and judgment at the same time. So when in doubt, get curious about the person you love.
// Take Care of Yourself
If you need alone-time (Hi, introvert!) plan out at least 30-minutes of quiet time before you're going to a wild or not so wild party.
And if you feel guilty, remember you'll show up way more engaged if you've charged your batteries beforehand.
And on the flip side -- if you're an extrovert, you need people to charge your batteries.
But, what if your significant other needs alone time when you need people time?
Take care of yourself by doing what you need to do to feel filled up and energized - group dinners, concerts, travel, you name it.
After people time, you'll show up to your introverted partner way more present and fulfilled.
Text some friends and put some group gatherings on the calendar.
// Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
If you're an introvert, maybe you go to a concert mid-week. And if you're an extrovert, maybe you try out a few nights in.
I'm not saying to stop being YOU. But compromising and trying new stuff is sometimes the biggest gift we give ourselves.
As much as you might dream about your partner being exactly like you, that'd be super boring.
When someone needs more or less alone time, you have the chance to grow and understand their perspective.
You have a chance to open up your heart.
Progress, not perfection. There are still days when my husband and I have different ideas about what makes a relaxing weekend -- and that's okay.
Differences between all of us - one person needing more or less alone time - is what makes life interesting.
So stay open to the possibilities of learning and growing each and every day.
And remember - when you take care of yourself, you show up with more presence and love to give the world.
You'll feel grounded, relaxed and inspired, with a lot more to give.
Are you an introvert? Extrovert? Something in between?
Comment below and let me know! I love hearing from you!
From my heart to yours,
PS Famous introverts include: Oprah Winfrey, Amy Schumer, Audrey Hepburn and Albert Einstein.
PPS Famous extroverts...I actually had a hard time finding on the Internet (!) Maybe because so many "extroverts" are actually introverts?
Here's a funny Buzzfeed list instead -- 25 Frustrating Things About Being An Extrovert :)
Have a beautiful week!